– Modern Horizons
July 2, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Curiously, Seasoned Pyromancer is a lot less explosive than Young Pyromancer, despite the fact that they may be suggesting they’re the same person. Perhaps he decided that the fire that burns twice as bright burns half as long, or that he needed a more rounded skill set as an adult. (Young Pyromancer has always reminded me of the kind of character they draw to be a stereotypical self-insert of kind of person who’s the stereotypical Magic player. I don’t love that practice, to be honest. It involves too many layers of stereotype, and Magic players come in all shapes and sizes.)
Expecting a bigger or rehashed Young Pyromancer, then, is entirely incorrect. Seasoned Pyromancer goes in completely different kinds of decks. He doesn’t replace Faithless Looting; he gives you the effect on a creature for times that’s relevant (eg. Collected Company). He doesn’t make a vast herd of tokens; he makes a smaller herd as a bonus for your deck’s actual main game plan. He doesn’t draw removal; he discourages it by promising a late-game mini-burst of Elementals in a manner that’s hard to stop. He’s also a one-man combo, as his Looting effect is structured in a perfect way to interact with madness, reanimator, or even something as simple as Enigma Drake. He’s just a very good card all around, to be honest.
Seasoned Pyromancer is definitely a mythic rare for power level, not for lore reasons. But the power is quite good, especially for a color that sometimes has an issue with running out of gas in the late game. Three mana gets you a 2/2 that draws you two cards, which is nearly unheard of in red! But if you have cards to spare, this is a fair bit better: dump some cards you don’t have use for, get cards that might serve you better, and get up to two extra bodies. Three mana for 4/4 worth of stats looks better, and it even gets you deeper into your deck. It’s also not useless in death, exiling itself to make two more elementals; while it might seem underwhelming, you’re not giving up a card to pop this, and there are also no timing restrictions.
Seasoned Pyromancer is pretty nuts, and it might be the piece that makes red even better by itself (or with friends). It shores up one of red’s largest weaknesses without completely undermining the color pie, and it even brings friends. Definitely a card to watch out for.
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